A new report published by the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance suggests that the global real estate industry continues to make progress in improving the environmental performance of existing buildings.
Sustainability’s future will be determined not by well-meaning public policies and urban plans, but by the “hard constants” that motivate us at the deepest levels, Tony Favro argues in his book Hard Constants: Sustainability and the American City. Shaped by our experience with democracy and capitalism over hundreds of years, these hard constants embody our persistent values regarding individuals versus community, conservation versus consumption, growth versus stability, and planning versus freedom.
The built environment is having a critical impact on the physical and emotional well-being of residents and workers, said Richard Jackson, professor and chair of environmental health sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, speaking to a group of land use, urban design, and community development experts in Washington, D.C.
Lynn Thurber, chairman of LaSalle Investment Management in Chicago, began her two-year term as ULI chairman July 1. A member of ULI since 2004, she has a strong record of volunteerism with ULI. She recently discussed her plans and priorities for her term at the helm of the organization.
Westwood was the third Colorado community analyzed by a ULI panel under the auspices of the Healthy Places: Designing an Active Colorado initiative, sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation (CHF). Over five days in May, ULI panel members walked the streets of Westwood, toured the area by van, and interviewed more than 100 stakeholders. At the conclusion of panel’s work, more than 100 people came to a local church to hear the panel’s recommendations, presented in English and Spanish.
On a sunny but bone-chilling windy day in late March, with the Rocky Mountain foothills flanking their views to the west, seven members of a ULI Advisory Services panel listened to the whistle of a freight train as it made its way slowly through the heart of Olde Town Arvada, Colorado, about seven miles (11.3 km) northwest of Denver. Their task: envisioning how changes to the physical environment could improve the health of Arvada residents.
A walk down Main Street in Lamar with a late winter storm blowing in tells a lot about the challenges of trying to exercise in this rural city on the southeastern Colorado plains. Conditions may include 50-mile-per-hour (80 kmph) sandstorms, 18-wheelers blasting past at similar speeds, and for pedestrians, a dangerous situation caused by the lack of sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe crossings on this five-lane roadway, which also serves as U.S. Highway 50/287.
Healthy Places: Designing an Active Colorado is a five-year, $4.5 million initiative sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation. The CHF and its local partners asked ULI to conduct Advisory Services panels in each of the three selected communities. The following are some of the lessons learned.
When applying the idea of recycling to old or underused buildings, it is not just a matter of reusing the structure or materials, but also of best use, said speakers at ULI Europe’s annual conference in Paris. “It’s about up-cycling our old buildings,” said Laura Muller, head of corporate social responsibility for Corio N.V., who led the discussion.
As early as 2015, people may have the opportunity to ride a solar energy–powered elevator in a U.S. commercial building. Washington, D.C.–area real estate firm Akridge is teaming up with the Switzerland-based Schindler Elevator Company to bring the solar elevator, already used in Europe, to the United States.